(This is part 2 of my eighth basic FATE Tutorial, you can find the first part here: https://plus.google.com/u/0/100212613856984996154/posts/g5NRgnLQnBq

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FATE Tutorial 8: Combat, Part 2

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In part one we got ourselves familiar with the very basics of combat, including Stress and Consequences. For part 2, we’re going to cover some of the more tactical elements of FATE combat (namely teamwork and movement). In part 3, we’ll cover Blocking, which includes the rules for grappling.

Teamwork we’ve actually already covered in part. Whenever we successfully make a Maneuver, Assessment or Declaration we can let another player Tag the Aspects we create or discover, if it’s appropriate. While this is player teamwork, it doesn’t have to represent our characters working as a team. Theoretically, a player with an extremely unhelpful character could still aid another player, while keeping his character’s involve incidental. 

Charles ducks behind the crates in the warehouse, and waits. He knows Sarah is out there, angry, and her gun is only down a single projectile. What he doesn’t know is that the sound of Sarah’s shot has drawn Thackery onto the scene, and the brawny mercenary isn’t interested in hiding. His footsteps are loud, and Sarah hears them first. She knows that monstrous gait anywhere, and it sends chills down her spine.

Charles rolls his Stealth of Fair (+2) and gets -1 on 4dF. That’s a total of +1 (Average). Not a great outcome. Thackery rolls his Intimidation of Fair (+2) for a Maneuver that creates the Aspect [Something Wicked...]. Sarah rolls +0 on 4dF, and has an Alertness of Fair (+2). She’ll discover Charles at this rate! Charles’ player asks Thackery’s player if he can Tag the [Something Wicked...] since Sarah is obviously distracted by Thackery’s nearing presence, and Thackery’s player agrees. That gives Charles a total of +3, or a Good result, and Sarah doesn’t find his hiding spot. She’s too nervous, and keeping an eye out for the fearsome Thackery.

Teamwork can also, obviously, be more directed by the players. This usually involves deciding who’ll be making the roll itself, and the other players rolling Maneuvers for support. It works just like player teamwork, otherwise.

Charles sees Thackery from his hiding spot, and lets out a deep breath. Backup has arrived. He makes eye-contact with the brawny bruiser and motions for him to flank the wall-armed Sarah. If Charles can get her attention, Thackery can tackle her to the ground. Maybe get the gun out of her hands...

Charles’ and Thackery’s players decide they want their characters to work as a team to defeat Sarah. Charles knows Thackery has a better chance of success with his Might rated Good (+3), so he offers to be a distraction - he’ll create a Maneuver specifically for Thackery to Tag. Charles rolls his Deciet of Fair (+2) and succeeds at creating the Aspect [Eyes On The Prize]. When Thackery rolls his Might of Good (+3) to tackle Sarah, and gets a +1 on 4dF. Things are looking good with a Great (+4) result! But Sarah rolls a rare +3 on 4dF, and with her Athletics of Fair (+2) for a Superb (+5) dodge. Thackery uses his Tag on Charles’ Maneuver-created Aspect [Eyes On The Prize] for the +2 he needs to beat Sarah’s Superb (+5) with a Fantastic (+6). Thackery brings Sarah down!

Movement is a little tricky. For the most part, it isn’t terribly important. In a small, single room it won’t matter if we have a gun or a knife as far as when and where we can fight. Add in some space, or a scene with multiple rooms, and things are different. Each significant area in a scene is a Zone. This can be anything from a separate area, to a distant rooftop. A big enough room can be several Zones wide. Behind the counter of a bar can be its own Zone separate from the rest of the bar. The bathroom, living room and bedroom in a small apartment can all be their own Zones.

Most firearms have no difficulty firing between these Zones, giving them a pretty big advantage over melee-range weapons. Someone with our aforementioned knife is going to want to move into the same Zone as a gunman to engage in combat. This can be done in one of three ways.

The first is the easiest. We can always move into an adjacent unobstructed Zone on our turn as a Supplemental Action (and remember, that’s just  a -1 to your roll). There’s nothing else to it. 

Supplemental Action: Move from [Zone #1: Bedroom] to [Zone #2: Living Room]

The second is almost as easy. If we want to move farther than one Zone we have to use our turn to Sprint. When we Sprint we make an Athletics + 4dF roll, and for every Shift we can move one Zone. We can’t attack or anything in the same turn we Sprint. That’s our action. If we were to roll Athletics of Fair (+2) + 4dF for a total of +3, or a Good result, we could move three Zones.

Sprint Action: Move from [Zone #1: Bedroom] to [Zone #2: Living Room] to [Zone #3: Apartment Hallway] to [Zone #4: Elevator] for 3 Shifts of an Athletics +4dF roll.

The third way is for special cases. Sometimes the terrain is rough, or there’s a fence preventing us from easily moving between Zones. These obstructions are called Borders, and each Border has a difficulty rating associated with it. A muddy path might be difficulty 1 Average, or fence might be difficulty 3 Good. All that does is take away from the roll we made in the last example. Let’s say the living room was slick with gore, which makes it a Border of difficulty 1. When we rolled our Athletics of Fair (+2) + 4dF for a total of +3 in the last example, we couldn’t make it all the way to elevator. That difficulty 1 Border takes 1 whole Shift of its own to get passed. 

Sprint Action With Border: Move from [Zone #1: Bedroom] to [Zone #2: Living Room], navigate [Difficulty 1 Border: Gore-slick Carpet] to [Zone #3: Apartment Hallway] for 3 Shifts of an Athletics +4dF roll.

That’s it for now! Join us part 3 of the Combat tutorial! Blocking (and grappling) and alternate conflict.
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